Photography and mystery take center stage in this cult classic by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni.
“Blow-Up” was released in 1966 and was Antonioni’s first English language film. “Blow-Up” was historical in its own way, as its unabashed depiction of sex and drugs during the Swinging Sixties in London challenged, and eventually said to have contributed to its abolishment, the then-existing strict Production Code in the United States. “Blow-Up” tells a day-in-a-life story of a successful but rather egoistic fashion photographer during this era, supposedly based on the legendary British fashion photographer David Bailey, and his unwitting involvement in what may or may not be a murder when he took photos of a couple having a rendezvous at a park.
What’s fascinating about “Blow-Up” is that it’s neither just a depiction of the hedonistic life lived by some people back then nor was it a simple thriller. Sure, the photographer thinks it’s a body that he saw in the grainy, black and white blow-up images of his snapshots, and he actually sees for himself a corpse when he returns to that same spot during the night to investigate. But despite these, he remains distraught and unsure of what he’s seeing. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty interesting how the film ended on an ambiguous note – there wasn’t really any effort to answer any questions that arose during the entire duration of the film. It’s obviously a matter of taste because some would prefer otherwise, but I think it’s exactly what would hook the audience in because it would lead them to create conclusions for themselves.
Curious? Here’s the trailer to get you started:
All stills in this feature were sourced from FilmGrab.
Like this article? Check out our articles from the Friday Movie Flashback series in the Lomography magazine!